As we prepare for the season ahead, what are your hopes? What are your
dreams? The thief on the cross had one request and he brought it to Jesus.
What about us? What have we brought before the throne of God? Greetings in
the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Hospital Window
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was
allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the
fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other
man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on
end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their
involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he
would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could
see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those
one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the
activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played
on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked
arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline
could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this
in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his
eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his
mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive
Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water
for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who
had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital
attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after
making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first
look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the
window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what
could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful
things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and
could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage
There is tremendous joy in giving others hope, despite our own
situations. Joy when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just
count all the things you have that money can't buy.
Answered prayers hold the promise of hope. They let us know that God
hears our requests and provides for our needs. As Christ hung on the cross
he gave hope and security, he answered a prayer. When things are hopeless,
when the future looks dim, when we cannot see what tomorrow holds for us we
turn to God and ask for his help. That is prayer, a conversation with God.
Does he hear them? Does he answer them? That depends on if you have a
relationship with him. You and I both know it is easier to receive help from
someone you know. I have said it many times at the track, racers willingness
to help one another make it a special group of people to be around. I have
seen it many times, teams helping teams so that they could race.
We all understand the challenges to get to the track and have your car
ready. Then something breaks and you don’t have a spare. That is when you
know who your friends are. That is the key; those who know us and care about
us are willing to help us.
Jesus found himself nailed to the cross, enduring the pain for you and
me. He was there between two thieves, one on his right, and another on his
left. He was there for us, they were there because the deserved it. Even on
the cross we see that Jesus still had compassion for those who sought him
Luke 23:39-43; nlt, One of the criminals who
hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since
you are under the same sentence?
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this
man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in
Jesus speaks from the cross as he answers a prayer. Look at the contrast of
the criminals on the crosses, one belligerent and hurling insults, the other
had a fear of God, a respect for Christ. Together they sum up the two
options, for or against. There is no middle ground. You either honor God or
The thief on the right asked Jesus to remember Him when he came into his
kingdom. Look closely, not if you come into your kingdom, when. He had done
some terrible things in his life, terrible enough to be sentenced to death.
He understood that that was unacceptable to God and he prayed to the only
one who could save him, Jesus.
Jesus responded, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Salvation is that simple, acknowledge God and ask for his forgiveness.
God will receive you into His kingdom.
Jesus still wasn’t focused on his needs he was focused on the needs of
those around him. How easily are we distracted from the needs of those
around us? How easily do we get lost in our own difficulties and challenges
that we forget what is going on around us? How many times do we push someone
away because we don’t have time? How often are we so wrapped up in ourselves
that we cannot see the needs of those around us?
Jesus wasn’t too busy or distressed to hear the prayer of a lost soul. He
has set an example for us to follow. Let us take some time and listen to
those around us. Let us make every effort to focus on the needs of others
and not on our own.
Christ gave his life to give us hope. As the thief on the cross accepted
his fate and turned to Christ he received freedom from the consequences of
his lifestyle. We can turn to Christ and receive hope for today and
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
MISSED IT - I am disappointed that I was unable to get to any
of the indoor races this year. Scheduling just didn’t allow me the
flexibility to attend. Please accept my apologies. We are blessed though
that Bob Menschner could be there and lifted each event up before the Lord
seeking His blessing. We have such a wonderful bunch of chaplains, thanks
LOOKING AHEAD - Rev. Ray sent this in from West Springfield:
If the Frank Maratta’s Auto Show was the elixir for the Winter "blues", then
Cabin Fever has passed, and Spring Fever has broken out. The fans, sponsors,
owners, teams and tracks represented are anxiously awaiting the rumble of
engines and the smell of rubber. It all begins here in the Northeast, April
10th. with the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, followed by
the April 24th. Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway; rounded out with
the Waterford161 May 14th. at New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Whew! Strap
in, pull 'em up tight, get ready to "go green" and hang on for some exciting
racing. Let's go racing.
Thanks Ray, many of the tracks have been working hard this winter to
update their tracks for both the fans and the racers. New London/Waterford
Speedbowl has embarked on a new catchfence and wall. There are also
improvements down at Riverhead.
I had the chance to talk with new Riverhead owner Ed Partridge while I
was down in Florida. He shared that things are moving along and people will
be surprised when they come in. He has updated the concession areas
providing for a better fan experience. He did share that there was much more
to running a race track than turning the gate key. He is excited and looking
forward to the new season and new opportunities.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
www.rwjm.com. Send us
your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family
you are in, or give us a call. Remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586,
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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